(Album cover from Wikimedia Commons)
Ocean explores many topics such as sex, love, the spiral downwards of being on drugs, and money as it relates to happiness. (Album cover from Wikimedia Commons)

By YARA BEYDOUN, Staff Columnist 

Artist: Frank Ocean
Album: Channel Orange
Release: July 10, 2012

Frank Ocean is an American singer/song-writer more commonly known as a group member of OFWGKTA (Odd Future). With the debut of his first studio album, Channel Orange, Ocean has set himself apart from the pack and set fourth his own unique style of contemporary R&B.

Ocean has a more psychedelic take throughout the album with added electronic keyboards in the instrumentals. Ocean explores many topics such as sex, love, the downward spiral of being on drugs, and money as it relates to happiness.

In one of the strongest tracks, “Crack Rock,” Ocean sings the “crack blues” of when a man loses everything to drugs and yet still does not want to disturb the delusional nirvana these drugs about. Ocean’s vocals are pretty darn impressive throughout these tracks as he intensifies the sensual tones in the love songs.

Yet, with much of the hype attached to this album, I find it a bit overrated. Many of the lyrics on this album are consistently weak and unoriginal. In the track, “Super Rich Kids,” Ocean sings of youths that grow up in a wealthy society whom are clouded by drugs and alcohol.

In the end, I’m left unaffected and unmoved. I find myself not really caring about what he has to say due to his lack of devotion. Guest artists featured on this album, such as Earl Sweatshirt and Andre 3000, bring interesting flavors to the songs; however they overshadow Ocean in the process.

Regardless, this album is at least worth a listen.

Key Tracks: “Think Bout You,” “Crack Rock.”